The government has initiated action against three senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers for their role in drafting of a report that gave suggestions to the tax department to boost revenue generation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The tax department has found them in violation of various Central Civil Services Rules and issued chargesheets against them. They have been divested of their current charges for now.
The report became a major embarrassment for the government as it advocated tax hike, imposition of wealth tax, inheritance tax, and a COVID-19 surcharge.
According to the tax department, this action has been taken by the department in view of their role and complicity in the preparation of the report named 'FORCE' which was being circulated and widely covered in media since April 25, 2020. "The report created panic and tax policy uncertainty in the already stressed economic conditions in the country," says sources in the department.
Officers against whom action has been initiated by the tax department include Prashant Bhushan, General Secretary of IRS Association; Prakash Dubey, Director, Department Of Personnel and Training and Joint Secretary, IRS Association; and Sanjay Bahadur, a 1989 batch IRS officer.
These officers without any authority got their junior officers to prepare a report and gave it to IRS association which made it public.
Government sources further said that these senior officers, despite having more than 30 years of service, failed to exercise due care and went on to misguide 50 young officers. Government would have definitely given due consideration to suggestions made by the young officers. However, instead of sending the recommendations to the government through official channel, these Principal Commissioner-rank officials misguided their juniors and went public with report, which created panic and tax policy uncertainty in the already stressed economic conditions in the country, they said.